Chicago White Sox (8-5) pick ’em, o/u 9 at Baltimore Orioles (8-6), 7:05 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of Predictem.com
A couple of the smaller surprises in the early going of the American League season meet when the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles begin a quick two-game set Wednesday night at Oriole Park.
Baseball Sportsbooks list this game at right around a pick ’em, with an over/under of 9 .
Chicago beat Oakland Tuesday 4-1 to salvage a split of a two-game series. It was the fourth straight solid starting pitching performance for the White Sox, who have given up a total of just three runs over their last four games.
Heading into Wednesday’s game, Chicago leads the AL Central by a half-game over the second-place Kansas City Royals.
Baltimore lost to Toronto Tuesday 11-3, also splitting a two-game series. So after starting this season 6-1, the Orioles have lost five of their last seven games. Going into Wednesday’s action, the O’s are tied for second place in the AL East, a half-game back of first-place Boston.
The White Sox are 4-2 on the road this year, while Baltimore is 6-2 at Oriole Park.
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Last year, the Orioles took the season series with Chicago five games to three. The o/u went 5-3 in those eight games, which averaged a healthy 11.3 total runs per.
Veteran righty Jose Contreras (0-1, 6.17, 1.97 WHIP this season) will take the mound for the White Sox Wednesday night against lefty Adam Loewen (0-0, 7.45, 1.76 WHIP) for Baltimore.
Contreras is coming off an iffy outing in which he gave up four ER and six hits in 6 2/3 IP of a 5-2 loss to Detroit last Friday. The Sox are 1-1 in Contreras’ starts this season, the o/u also 1-1.
And Contreras wasn’t too effective against the O’s last year; he started twice vs. Baltimore last season, allowing 11 ER and 22 baserunners (hits + walks) in 11 IP. The White Sox lost both those games.
Loewen got clipped for four ER and 10 baserunners in five IP in his latest outing, a 5-4 Baltimore loss at Texas last Thursday. Wednesday’s start will be Loewen’s first against the White Sox.
On the offensive side of things, Chicago owns a .345 team OBP this year, which ranks 8th in the league, and is averaging 5.8 runs per game. Meanwhile, the Orioles own a .331 team OBP, which ranks 16th, and are averaging 4.4 RPG. But the O’s have scored a total of just 12 runs over their last four games.
The White Sox bullpen has held opponents to just two ER and 13 baserunners over its last 9 1/3 IP. On the other side of this match-up, the Baltimore pen has been bopped for 17 ER and 35 baserunners over its last 18 innings of work.
The o/u is 7-6 in Sox games this season, which are averaging 9.8 total runs per. The totals are 5-9 in Orioles games this year, which are averaging 9.2 total runs. And games played at Oriole Park last season averaged 10.5 total runs, 7th most in the league.
Zman’s Pick: Take the Orioles!